Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The History of WWE King of the Ring (1995)

Dear God, what are we about to unleash on the world???

King of the Ring 1995 - Corestates Spectrum - 6.25.95

As bad as KOTR '94 was, that show was WrestleMania 19 compared to this putrid collection of dog vomit.  In one of the earliest examples of tone-deaf booking on Vince's part, the tournament this time around was meant to elevate midcard tag wrestler Mabel, who was now a heel, much to the delight of no one.  Shawn Michaels, having just returned to action after a sudden babyface turn and a brief kayfabe injury, was heavily favored by fans to win the crown.  When Shawn was eliminated in the first round the live crowd tuned right the fuck out.

Even Shawn was bored shitless

The pre-show match didn't bode well for the PPV, as Razor Ramon had to miss the tourney due to a rib injury.  To determine his replacement, IRS would face midcarder Savio Vega on the Free For All show.  Savio won the forgettable bout and would make it all the way to the tournament final, defeating heavy (no pun intended) favorite Yokozuna by countout and besting Jeff Jarrett's sidekick The Roadie (why Brian Armstrong made the PPV but I-C Champion Jarrett didn't I dunno).  But since Savio wasn't established no one cared.  Other tournament lowlights included The Undertaker first-round elimination at the hands of Mabel (with an assist from Kama), and the Shawn Michaels-Kama time limit draw, which even the great HBK couldn't make work.  The Philadelphia fans HATED this tournament, and the eventual winner King Mabel would prove one of the least successful pet projects in WWF history, despite headlining that year's SummerSlam.

Mabel?  Mabel.  MABEL??!?

Elsewhere on the card, Bret Hart would settle his longtime feud with Jerry Lawler in a vile Kiss My Foot match where the post-match stipulation overshadowed the worse-than-mediocre bout.  Bret won the match and stuck his big toe into Lawler's mouth, in one of many WWF/E examples of "What demographic was this aimed at?" before shoving Lawler's own foot in his mouth.  Between the disappointing Bret-Backlund I Quit match, this stinker, and Bret's awful SummerSlam bout with Isaac Yankem, 1995 had to be one of the worst years in The Hitman's career.

The main event was a completely forgettable tag team brawl tailor made for your average RAW episode, pitting Diesel and Bam Bam Bigelow against Sycho Sid and Tatanka.  There's really not much to say about this match; it was 17-plus minutes of your garden variety punch-kick offense that Vince loves to flog himself to, and it exemplified everything wrong with the WWF product in 1995.  It's no surprise Diesel was the worst-drawing WWF Champion of all-time, and this match was Exhibit A.

King of the Ring 1995 had nothing redeeming about it.  Literally not one match on this show exceeded two stars, names like Owen Hart, Lex Luger, Davey Boy Smith, 1-2-3 Kid, Hakushi and Jeff Jarrett were absent from it, and the absolute wrong guy was elevated to a main event slot.  I'm as baffled by it now as I was then.  This stands as possibly the worst WWF/E PPV of all time.


Best Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Kama, by default
Worst Match: Take your pick, but we'll go with Mabel vs. Savio
What I'd Change: Everything.  I should write up a Wrestling Do-Overs piece about this turd.
Most Disappointing Match: Shawn vs. Kama - When Shawn Michaels can't save a show, you've got problems.
Most Pleasant Surprise: Ummmm.....
Overall Rating: This is unprecedented, but I can't in good conscience award even a single point to this calamity of a PPV.  0/10


1994

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